Anheuser-Busch has blasted Greenpeace's recent claims that the brewer is using genetically-engineered (GE) rice in the US as retaliation against its decision not to boycott US farmers.

The brewer said yesterday (8 October) that, following its refusal to join Greenpeace's advocacy campaign on genetically modified crops, the environmental group has retaliated with "pressure tactics".

Greenpeace yesterday released results of an analysis showing the presence of GE rice at an A-B mill in Arkansas in an effort to throw speculation onto the brewer's alleged use of genetically-engineered products in the US.

Greenpeace international GE campaigner Doreen Stabinsky said: "Anheuser-Busch must make a clear statement about the level of GE contamination of the rice used to brew Budweiser in the US and spell out what measures are in place to ensure this beer does not reach the company's export markets."

A-B group vice president of brewing, operations and technology Doug Muhleman responded: "Greenpeace's statements regarding our beer brands are false and defamatory. We stand in support of US farmers, who are partners with us in the quality of our products. We use US rice for brewing our products for US consumption."

Muhleman added: "Neither A-B, nor our international licensed brewing partners use genetically modified ingredients, including genetically modified rice, in brewing products sold in any country with legal restrictions. We talked with Greenpeace, hoping to help them understand the facts.

"We are disappointed that they instead chose to pursue pressure tactics."